Down but not out for sailing family
IT IS no surprise to see Mara and Leroy Stransky moving around their father’s self-built catamaran, Fantasia II, as if it’s second nature. Their gymnast-like agility comes from spending much of their young lives aboard boats with dad Andrew and his partner Carolyn Smith.
But despite a great start to Audi Hamilton Island Race Week, Fantasia was sadly forced to withdraw after a major collision minutes prior to the start on day four.
“It’s hard,” said an obviously dejected Andrew after berthing at the marina and surveying the major damage to the boat’s port bow.
“We’re a low budget affair trying to do this and it’s a family home we’re driving here.”
But by good fortune there were three boat builders aboard Fantasia, so with much scraping around for the necessary materials to effect a very temporary repair, amazingly the yacht was headed back out on Friday, August 21.
“We’ve had generous offers of tools, materials and plenty of opinions,” said a more buoyant Carolyn that morning.
“There really aren’t many materials available for this sort of work on the island so the whole thing’s being held together with whatever we could get hold of.
“I even saved the Eye of Horus that we have painted on the bows and patched that back in too!”
Life aboard boats started young for Mara (16) and Leroy (17), so setbacks such as this are not new.
“Mara was very young when we crossed the Atlantic so she got her sea legs early,” recalled Carolyn. When all was said and done
Fantasia finished third overall in the Multihull Racing Division of Race Week – a testament to a family for whom the sea pervades every fibre of their collective and individual DNA.
IN FINE FORM: Fantasia II during day one of Audi Hamilton Island Race Week.
UPSIDE DOWN: Mara Stransky with her dad Andrew Stransky aboard their catamaran Fantasia II, repaired and ready to sail again.